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Taking Postive Steps Towards a Natural Birth

October 17, 2010

From my Natural Birth Page….

I am not a doctor or medical professional. The only “medical” experience I have is working at a global pharmaceutical company for several years. Less to say, I know my drug lingo. I had taken medications on and off throughout my life and never thought anything of it, until I got PREGNANT. Coming to the realization that — every thing that went in to my body would now be transferred to my baby — had a profound effect on me. I knew in my heart that God would want me to be as healthy as possible so that my baby would be born strong and healthy too. So everyday during my pregnancy, I prayed for a strong, healthy baby. I ate right, drank lots of water, exercised; I researched night and day to find a means to having a natural birth.

Natural birth is not an easy task in a country where C-section rates in 2007 reached close to 32%. US Epidural rates on an average are around 50%, but in some hospitals they are over 90%! So, in a nutshell, do your homework! If you spent years in school, and years in college, isn’t your baby that much MORE important for study and research?

I also realize there are medical conditions that can arise during pregnancy that can make natural birth difficult. A high-risk pregnancy shouldn’t be taken lightly and by all means, listen to your doctor!

My husband and I decided on the Bradley Method for our first child. We took a 12-week class for Bradley Method, which is husband coached childbirth. You can search on their site for a teacher in your area. The Bradley class was not only educational, it is an amazing bonding experience for mommy and daddy. From the very beginning, you are working as a team. You are involving your husband in every aspect of your child’s life…as God planned it! Bradley was an amazing experience for my husband and I, being new parents and not knowing a clue about birthing babies. We learned so much! Our teacher, Annette Culp, was also our doula and lactation consultant. After having 4 children including a VBAC, she is definitely a super mom!

 
 

My Doula and I after Samuel's 22-hour birth

 

  

Benjamin arrived after 10 minutes at the hospital, NO JOKE!

 

Here are a number of things I learned while taking the Bradley class, doing research, talking to other moms, and why I ultimately fulfilled God’s plan for me to have a natural birth.

  1. Take a natural childbirth class (Bradley, Lamaze, Hypnobirth, etc.).
  2. Read everything you can get your hands on about having a natural birth.
  3. Choose the right doctor, midwife, and hospital – (I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH!) I had a midwife both times. I only saw midwives at my OBGYN’s office. If it’s an MD, ask them how many c-sections they do per year. You can also research your hospital’s c-section rate.
  4. Hire a doula for your birth. I seriously think without my doula present at my first birth, I would have been begging for medication. She was amazing!
  5. Stay low-risk.  Eat right, exercise (prenatal yoga!), drink tons of water.
  6. Write a very detailed birth plan and give it to your doctor or midwife. Make sure they put a copy in your folder. Also, make copies of your birth plan and give it to the nurses when arriving at the hospital. 
  7. Plan on NOT have any medical interventions, including pitocin or epidurals. I realize that some this is not for everyone, nor for every circumstance. I put it in my birth plan to not offer me any medications, and no one ever asked me. If you do get an epidural, don’t get it right when you start feeling pain, wait it out a little bit and then ask for it.  **There are many things you can do during your labor to help with pain: different laboring positions, the bathtub or water pool, music, warm or cold compresses, aromatherapy, walking, and in my case prayer!
  8. Don’t go to the hospital right when you start feeling contractions. The sooner you arrive at the hospital, the sooner medical interventions can be introduced. Also, sometimes the mood at the hospital is one of EMERGENCY and can slow labor once you arrive. But don’t wait too long…I did this with my second baby and barely got to the hospital in time. He was literally coming out in the car!!!
  9. You can also opt for a home birth. I wanted to try a home birth with my second baby but my husband wasn’t really convinced. I know moms who have had them, love them, and wouldn’t have it any other way. I would say a home birth is a sure fire way to have a natural birth! I would love to try one…if it’s God Will!

These are just some steps I think are important…or at least they were for us. I am not guaranteeing that by following these steps that you will have a natural birth with no interventions but YOUR mind-set is VERY IMPORTANT. You have to keep telling yourself that you can do it….I CAN DO IT! I CAN DO IT! (even when you are yelling at your birth team to GET THE BABY OUT NOW! such as I did).  Just as important are the people around you (husband, parents, doctor, nurses, midwife, doula, etc.) These people need to be on board with your plan and encourage you, not discourage you. And if you do end up taking the epidural or a c-section is necessary, don’t be hard on yourself. Every birth is different and the most important thing is that you baby arrives healthy and that you can enjoy that precious gift once they are here:-)

HAPPY BIRTHING!!

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